Bunya Mountains KBA

Green catbird – Ailuroedus crassirostris Photo: Ann Alcock

Once again we finished the year with a great weekend in the Bunya Mountains completing surveys for the Key Biodiversity Area programme.

Video about the whole weekend by Scot McPhie

For our second visit to the Bunya Mountains and Yarraman KBA area we decided to follow exactly the same survey methods and locations as last year. This would allow us to gather some comparable data and get a general impression on how things had changed from the year before.

We booked the same two cabins as the last year as well, many of the same people returned, and with a few new faces, we had a full compliment of 14 people attending, as well as local birder John Learmonth who meet us in the Bunyas.

Storm front approaching Bowenville – photo: Scot McPhie

The weather outlook was a concern but we were locked in and couldn’t move the accommodation booking so gave it a go anyway. Fortunately the weather turned out to be perfect – the predicted storm came through early on Friday night, and although it was violent with a few trees subsequently coming down, it cleared to a perfect weekend for birding.

Topknot pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus Photo: Ann Alcock

These are some of our key findings from the weekend:

  • 15 observers participated
  • 4 x 2ha-20min surveys and 6 x 500m radius surveys were completed
  • 224 bird records entered to Birdata
  • 51 bird species recorded, 3 of them breeding (suggestive behaviour, i.e. nest building)
  • Threatened species = 0; listed Migratory species = 2 (Black-faced Monarch, Rufous Fantail)
  • KBA species: the KBA assessment at includes 5 species (but they are cited as meeting ‘legacy criteria” that are no longer used). Of these five, 3 were recorded in our surveys: Green Catbird, Paradise Riflebird, Regent Bowerbird.
  • No sightings or evidence of presence (feeding scrapes) of Black-breasted Button-quail during these surveys but evidence often is scarce immediately after heavy rain.
  • Note that the other one of the five, Australian Logrunner, is rarely recorded in the Bunya Mountains (further inquiry needed).
Satin bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus (transitioning) Photo: Ann Alcock
Australian Brush-turkeyAlectura lathami
Australian King-ParrotAlisterus scapularis
Australian MagpieGymnorhina tibicen
Australian RavenCorvus coronoides
Black-faced MonarchMonarcha melanopsis
Brown Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia phasianella
Brown GerygoneGerygone mouki
Brown HoneyeaterLichmera indistincta
Brown QuailSynoicus ypsilophorus
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
Common CicadabirdEdolisoma tenuirostre
Crested Shrike-titFalcunculus frontatus
Crimson RosellaPlatycercus elegans
Eastern SpinebillAcanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis
Fan-tailed CuckooCacomantis flabelliformis
GalahEolophus roseicapilla
Golden WhistlerPachycephala pectoralis
Green CatbirdAiluroedus crassirostris
Grey FantailRhipidura albiscapa
Grey GoshawkAccipiter novaehollandiae
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Large-billed ScrubwrenSericornis magnirostra
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Noisy PittaPitta versicolor
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Paradise RiflebirdLophorina paradisea
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Regent BowerbirdSericulus chrysocephalus
Rose RobinPetroica rosea
Rufous FantailRhipidura rufifrons
Russet-tailed ThrushZoothera heinei
Satin BowerbirdPtilonorhynchus violaceus
Scarlet HoneyeaterMyzomela sanguinolenta
Shining Bronze-CuckooChalcites lucidus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Southern BoobookNinox boobook
Sulphur-crested CockatooCacatua galerita
Superb Fairy-wrenMalurus cyaneus
Topknot PigeonLopholaimus antarcticus
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
Variegated Fairy-wrenMalurus lamberti
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-headed PigeonColumba leucomela
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaea
Wonga PigeonLeucosarcia melanoleuca
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Yellow-throated ScrubwrenSericornis citreogularis
Full bird list for the weekend

It was pleasing to see how some of the areas that were dryer last year were recovering now. The Bunya Mountains and Yarraman KBA area is quite large, and although the Bunya Mountains surveys will be a regular end of year event, we are looking at expanding our surveys next year with a separate trip to the Yarraman State Forest to conduct surveys there as well.

Thanks to Mike Ford for organising the accommodation, Roger Jaensch for planning and leading the surveys, and to Rodney Appleby and the BSQ Committe for financially supporting the trip and survey work.

Australian brush-turkey Alectura lathami Photo: Ann Alcock
An unlucky Australian brush-turkey that has been taken by a dingo Photo: Ann Alcock
Eastern yellow robin Eopsaltria australis Photo: Ann Alcock
Black-faced monarch Monarcha melanopsis Photo: Ann Alcock
Large-billed scrubwren Sericornis magnirostra Photo: Ann Alcock
Paradise riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus Photo: Ann Alcock
Russett-tailed thrush Zoothera heinei Photo: Ann Alcock
Satin bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus with nesting material Photo: Ann Alcock
Yellow-throated scrubwren nest Photo: Ann Alcock
Misty scene Photo: Libby Grace
Photo: Libby Grace
Mt Kiangarow Photo: Libby Grace
Photo: Libby Grace
Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
There it is!